SANTIAGO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Chilean central bank policymakers considered increasing the interest rate at their July 23rd and 24th meeting before deciding unanimously to leave it unchanged, according to minutes released on Wednesday.
The monetary policy committee noted rises in inflation that were “higher than expected” but attributed them to exchange rate depreciation related to the trade war between the United States and China, and higher fuel prices.
Ultimately policymakers kept the key rate stable at 2.5 percent amid a sustained recovery in the economy under the center-right government led by President Sebastian Pinera, and given a still sluggish labor market.
Traders predicted a raise in the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage point to 2.75 percent by the end of the year given rising inflation, according to a poll conducted by the central bank and published on July 17. (Reporting by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)